RB Tony Pollard - Dallas Cowboys

6-0, 210Born: 4-30-1997College: MemphisDrafted: Round 4, pick 2019

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From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 11): Ezekiel Elliott might be the most durable back in the league, but every running back is an injury risk and Pollard would be a league winner if Elliott goes down.

Week 11: at Detroit Lions

All RB vs DET

FBG says: Great matchup. The Dallas Cowboys' rushing attack is centered entirely around running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott has recorded 4 consecutive 20-carry games, playing over 80-percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps in each game. Running behind one of the NFL's strongest offensive lines, Elliott's efficiency numbers have been strong for most of the season, eclipsing 100-yards on the ground in 3 out of the last 4. A Sunday night matchup with the Minnesota Vikings last weekend bottled-up Ezekiel Elliott for just 47 rushing yards, but a softer matchup against the Detroit Lions this weekend should foster a more friendly rushing environment. Elliott is one of the few true bell-cow running backs in the NFL that rarely leaves the field and commands a significant workload on the ground each week. Expect the Cowboys' to feed Elliott early and often against the Lions this week in a favorable matchup against the Lions' struggling defensive-front. Last year, under head coach Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions prided themselves on their strong run defense. This season, however, the Lions field one of the league's weakest run defenses. The Lions are facing high-volume rushing attacks on a weekly basis, and they're allowing 4.6 yards per carry on the year, the 23rd-best mark in the NFL. Detroit's struggles start in the trenches, where Damon Harrison and A'Shawn Robinson, two previously elite run-stoppers, have regressed from elite levels to merely league-average in 2019. The Lions desperately need these two to return to their 2018 levels this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys' elite offensive line. Then, at the second level, Detroit's linebackers have struggled mightily in run-support this season, with all three of Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, and Jahlani Tavani struggling to fill the gaps and finish tackles this season. So far in 2019, the Lions have allowed 4 different backfields to eclipse 100-yards on the ground. Expect Ezekiel Elliott to approach that mark this weekend in a high-volume game on the ground, escorted by the second-best offensive line in the NFL, according to FootballGuys' Matt Bitonti.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 vs PHI 20 8 28 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 2.8
9 at NYG 15 3 21 0 3 1.0 9 0 0 3
10 vs MIN 3 1 -4 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 -0.4
11 at DET PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * 0.5 * * * *
11 at DET PROJ-Tremblay * 4 * * 0.4 * * * *
11 at DET PROJ-Bloom * 4 * * 0.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Tony Pollard's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 9 vs NYG (3 / 21 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

Pollard had an up-and-down game as he spelled Ezekiel Elliott against the Giants. Pollard was fueled by good blocking on his biggest run of the game up the middle and exhibited a strong stiff arm to the perimeter on another occasion. Dallas set up a potential big play with a Pollard screen, but the rookie had an ugly drop to thwart the opportunity. Outside of the Week 8 Miami game, Pollard has seen low volume as the ancillary back in Dallas.

2019 Week 3 vs MIA (13 / 103 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)

Pollard had a career day against Miami as Dallas coasted to the comfortable win in the second half. Pollard eased the workload of Ezekiel Elliott in the process, who still received more than 20 touches, as Pollard collected 128 total yards and 16 touches. Pollard, like Elliott, benefitted from a Dallas offensive line which manhandled Miami's defensive front in the run game for much of the contest. Pollard's production mostly came in the second half, including a featured drive which culminated with a Pollard touchdown, the first of his young career. Pollard's best features are his burst and full speed cuts, on display with three of his best touches, all going for more than 10 yards. Pollard was an elite receiver in college, but has yet to be featured much for Dallas with four targets in three games.

2019 Week 2 vs WAS (4 / 22 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

Pollard did not see an offensive touch against Washington until the second half as starter Ezekiel Elliott was up to his typical workload in Week 2. Pollard's highlight run, showing nice burst down to the goal line and then plunging in for a short-range score, was called back by penalty. Pollard is the clear backup to Elliott and could be poised for a decent workload in Week 3 against the struggling Dolphins.

2019 Week 1 vs NYG (13 / 24 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Pollard saw extended work in his NFL debut with Ezekiel Elliot on a managed workload (and not needed much) in the win over the Giants. Pollard saw minimal success on the ground, looking far more pedestrian than his preseason flashes over the past month. Pollard was not targeted in the passing game, a forte of his by the college profile, as Dak Prescott diced the Giants to wide receivers and tight ends. On the positive side, Pollard was the clear (as expected) backup to Ezekiel Elliott. There could be mop-up duty again in Week 2 against Washington for Pollard to see double-digit touches.


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Footballguys Articles

Roundtable Week 1
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The Gut Check No.481: The 2019 All-Gut Check Sleeper Team
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Week 10 Running Back Tiers
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Week 9 Running Back Tiers
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Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 7
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Injury Expectations | Midweek Update | Week 7
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11@ Detroit Lions
12@ New England Patriots
13vs Buffalo Bills
14@ Chicago Bears
15vs Los Angeles Rams
16@ Philadelphia Eagles
17vs Washington Redskins